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Lecture Hall Vs. Online Teaching – A Contradiction?

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Feedback and IT: Improving Student Learning

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.881.1 - 11.881.9



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Paper Authors


Thomas Steinborn Darmstadt University of Technology

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Thomas Steinborn, civil engineer and research assistant since 2002. Research focus in teaching and learning processes in structural engineering.

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Joerg Lange Darmstadt University of Technology

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Jörg Lange, Full Professor of Steel Structures since 1997, prior to this 10 years of experience in steel design and fabrication. Research focus in steel and composite structures, thin-walled steel, and teaching and learning processes in structural engineering.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Lecture Hall vs. Online Teaching – a contradiction?


Can we give a lecture to resident students and offer it in the same term as online-lecture via internet to all German speaking structural engineering students? This was our project during summer term 2005.

The subject of the lecture was a very special area of steel construction currently taught only at Darmstadt University of Technology: the production process - from planning to erection - of steel structures. The use of recordings and various add-ons enabled us to fulfill this task.

The whole course was embedded in an evaluation scheme to measure the acceptance and effectiveness and to find technical and procedural problems.


The course that was offered covered the production process of steel structures: the industrialized system of manufacturing structures from steel plates and beam or column profiles and erecting these structures. The design, financial, and legal aspects were included. This course is unique in Germany where usually the education in this area is focused on concrete technology. This is an on-site technology that is governed by parameters that differ strongly from industrialized production processes as they are used in steel manufacturing.

With a decreasing number of civil engineering students and therefore of teaching staff in this field it becomes difficult to offer the wide variety of topics at all universities. Besides the standard courses only the subjects that are within the research focus of the staff are taught. With a decreasing number of staff members some interesting subjects might be missed. Via e-learning within teaching networks this problem can be reduced because students can draw knowledge from other schools where highly specialized courses are offered. In addition this improves the possibilities for practicing engineers in life long learning.

For a number of years lecturers and professors from other universities were interested in offering this course to their students. Due to the development of Darmstadt University of Technology (TUD) to a Dual Mode university 1 (figure 1) it was possible to test this kind of cooperation. The Dual Mode TUD combines traditional (face-to-face) teaching with e- teaching and e-learning. It enables students to learn at the familiar location (lecture hall, classroom, etc.) as well as independent of time and place. Dual Mode introduces significant technological and didactic changes, and beyond that developments of the organization. Dual Mode TUD intends that – after an initial developmental phase – questions related to technology and didactics are no longer the primary focus. The Dual Mode TUD could then expect that its teaching staff and students are prepared for e-teaching and e-learning as well as for traditional teaching and learning. In the area of telemedia learning, materials currently available for self-learning and for discursive learning independent of time and place are being enhanced.

The target of Dual Mode TUD is that all students, irrespective of their specializations, will attend at least one e-learning course during their studies and thus obtain the skills required for lifelong learning. The e-learning courses will reach the high quality standards of TUD. The

Steinborn, T., & Lange, J. (2006, June), Lecture Hall Vs. Online Teaching – A Contradiction? Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--481

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